Politics in the B.C. Legislature is toxic - perhaps Christy Clark's most astute observation since becoming premier at her party's behest a year and a half ago.
But it's long past time that Premier Clark took that observation one step further, and tried to search out the source of the toxicity that has been putrefying the legislative environment in Victoria. We're pretty sure that she would find it close to home.
An in-depth report in yesterday's Province newspaper details the source of only one of the toxic spills that have been fouling B.C.'s democratic process - a source that Premier Clark can find in her own mirror.
It turns out that one of the BC Liberals' own special versions of political toxicity, an attack website aimed at NDP leader Adrian Dix, has been funded at least in part from provincial coffers - which makes it a particularly smelly brand of toxicity.
Of course, Premier Clark might not approve - at least, no specific approval has been traced back to her. The tax-payer-payrolled people involved earned a verbal warning. but that's it.
In what appears to have become standard political protocol in B.C. - and federally, too, for that matter - there have been no serious repercussions for a serious breach of the public trust. The cantafforddix.ca website scandal is just a natural extension of tax-funded advertising whose clear aim is really to promote the governing party.
This sort manipulation of democratic principles has become so ubiquitous that the general public expects the same behaviour after the provincial election in May - regardless whether the anti-Dix toxicity succeeds in changing the currently anticipated outcome. We've come to expect it from all politicians.
And Premier Clark's edict shutting down that "toxic" legislature in Victoria for nearly a year means pertinent questions won't be asked, making it all the more difficult to clean up the spill.